You cannot escape from aging. Also, you don’t feel the pressure to look like you’ve escaped aging. However, looking much older or younger than your biological age does not all come down to genetics.
Lifestyles can really make a difference in how old you feel and see. Dr. Noel Young, Clinical Innovation Associate at home blood testing company Thriva (thriva.co), said:
“Chronic illnesses, most often caused by lifestyle, such as heart disease and diabetes, are very common and are associated with faster aging.”
“These conditions are associated with shorter telomeres, which are structures that cover the ends of chromosomes and protect them from damage,” Young adds. Accompany them. “
Here are eight lifestyle choices that you may age faster.
A new study at Oxford University found new evidence that alcohol accelerates biological aging by damaging DNA. Experts examined data from about 250,000 people and found that those who drank more than 17 units of alcohol a week had shorter telomeres.
Research leader Dr. Anya Topiwala said: Obviously we can’t change genetics, but if we want to reduce the risk of faster biological aging, we can change our lifestyle by reducing drinking, exercising, and quitting smoking. There is sex.
Various studies have shown that sunlight can age the skin. A 2013 French study found that exposure to UV light was responsible for 80% of the visible signs of facial aging.
Sit a lot
We are becoming more and more sedentary, and as we age, it becomes more difficult to build muscle. According to Young, about 1% of muscle mass is lost every year from around the age of 35, and there is a risk of osteoporosis and weakness, and with aging, he suffers injuries such as hip fractures and falls.
“So stay active in your daily life,” he says. “Try 4,000 to 6,000 steps a day, climb stairs, etc. Participate in regular exercises you enjoy, such as swimming, yoga, sports, etc. With a simple change like using a standing desk Even helps keep your legs and muscles strong. “
Smoking is thought to affect the production of collagen, a protein that maintains skin health and elasticity. As we grow older, our body produces less collagen. That is why the skin begins to sag and wrinkle. Smoking speeds up this process and can cause premature aging.
A 2009 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta found four factors that help prevent nearly 80% of chronic diseases that are often associated with aging. The survey cites these as follows: Never smoke, have an obesity index of less than 30, do more than 3.5 hours of physical activity per week, stick to a healthy diet with high fruit and vegetable intake, low whole wheat bread and low meat consumption ..
A similar 2008 study from the University of Cambridge found that combining healthy behaviors could add 14 years to your life.
Fiber-rich foods such as vegetables, beans, grains, and fruits have longer telomeres and longer lifespans, Young explains. These foods are rich in nutrients such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and other antioxidants. The fiber they contain is also an important nutrient that helps regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels, and maintain a healthy gut biome.
“It’s also important to include healthy fat sources such as fish, avocados and nuts,” he says. “These foods have a significant impact on dietary patterns such as the Mediterranean diet, which can be particularly beneficial to your health.”
Some foods are associated with worse health outcomes and shorter telomeres. These include foods such as red meat, processed meats and sweet drinks. “It’s best to limit these as much as possible,” Young emphasizes.
Too much stress
Long-term stress is associated with telomere shortening, and Young recommends active management of stress. “Keeping a diary allows you to start by noticing what triggers stress. Relaxation therapies such as deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, and exercise such as yoga can also help. Anxiety, depression, or If you are suffering from PTSD, it is important to consult your family doctor for appropriate help. “
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps reduce the effects of aging, Young says. Low levels are associated with shorter lifespans. “In the UK, it is very difficult to get from food sources, so it is advisable to supplement during the winter (October to March). Sunlight is a good source of summer, but wise levels Aim (and of course wear SPF).
According to a 2022 study in Italy, taking omega 3 supplements can increase telomere length. Young suggests that anti-inflammatory compounds have other beneficial effects on heart health, such as helping control blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.
Lack of sleep
Short telomeres are associated with not getting enough sleep, Young says. Lack of sleep also increases the likelihood of unhealthy behavior, such as not exercising and not eating high-sugar, fatty foods, and increases the risk of illness.
“It’s important to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep per day,” he emphasizes. “Pay attention to your bedtime routine and environment, avoid caffeine drinks after lunch, screen and exercise 1-2 hours before bedtime, and make sure your sleeping environment is dark, quiet and cool. Please check as much as possible. “